Texan progressive rock group Nothing More released their self-titled debut album on July 24th. Ahead of its release and their new tour around North America (playing Toronto’s Lee’s Palace tonight), I had the opportunity of giving the band a call to discuss branding themselves, unsafe stage props, and throwing out “Plan B” — enjoy!
AMBY: Thanks for speaking with me today. I appreciate it!
Nothing More: Hell yea, no problem.
AMBY: I want to say congrats on the release of your debut album! You initially formed as middle school kids, so being together for this long, why release an album now? What’s so special about 2014?
Nothing More: We actually released this record about a year ago independently. We’ve been a DIY band for a long time and we signed a deal with Eleven Seven and they liked the record so much that they wanted to re-release it since the only people who had the record was our fan base at the time, which was pretty much reserved to people who lived in Texas or Oklahoma. Now that we’re going global this year they wanted to re-release it, so that’s why we’re doing it right now.
AMBY: In support of the record, you’re currently on a North American tour. How’s that going?
Nothing More: It’s going amazing. We did a bunch of dates with Chevelle and it was playing sold-out nights every night – it’s really cool to walk out and know that you’re going to be in front of a sold-out audience who are pumped and ready. It’s really exciting every night. It’s been a wild ride; we’re all very tired [laughs] but excited at the same time.
AMBY: I saw some live shots of the band and it looks like you put on a pretty crazy performance. What’s one of the craziest things to happen to you while playing a show?
Nothing More: Man, we have a bunch of these metal structures on stage that our bass playing started learning how to weld and create as our stage props. We have these big drum holders that have two side toms on stage right and stage left that our guitar and bass player end up playing on. I have a kick drum and snare drum that have this giant metal encasing on them, so I can literally stand on them during the show.
AMBY: Someone is going to get hurt, aren’t they?
Nothing More: [laughs] More times than not, we end up slicing our foot or hands on some jagged piece of metal over the show. Dan’s really good at building things, but he’s not very good at making them safe.
AMBY and Nothing More: [laughs]
Nothing More: We end up hurting ourselves, but I guess that’s part of the show.
AMBY: I read on your Facebook page a quote about how you literally wear your heats on your sleeve; when you first started, you branded yourselves on the arm after each year of touring. Are you still doing this?
Nothing More: No, we actually stopped this three years ago. At that time, after three years of touring, we narrowed the band down to just three of us: Mark, Daniel, and myself. We thought it was a significant year to stop. If we did it every year, we would have burn marks [laughs]…
AMBY: …All over the place.
Nothing More: We would have never stopped. So we thought three was a significant place to stop.
AMBY: Branding yourselves is a pretty crazy thing to do to begin with. Has the band done anything else similar to show your everlasting commitment to Nothing More?
Nothing More: Not in that sort of way. Honestly, the biggest thing we’ve done is throw out “Plan B”. What I mean by that is how I didn’t go to college, the guys dropped out of college. When we first pursued this dream we were really urged by our parents and grandparents to go to college and have a plan and then try to pursue music. They kind of saw music as a lottery ticket, which I can understand in the music industry because most people don’t make it or end up getting too deep in the life-style and end up overdosing or something really bad [laughs]. We felt that if we did Plan B and spent all that time, we would not only be wasting our time, but we viewed it as a weakness of where usually the pressure happens and a lot of bands resort to Plan B; they go back to the comfortable life and get a job or the 9 to 5.
AMBY: I love the way you worded that. I was in the same situation when starting my website; I graduated from high school last year and instead of going off to the university I was accepted to, I took a year off to run the site full-time. I know exactly what you mean with all of the pressures and not going the expected or typical route.
Nothing More: That’s great. It’s a very rewarding thing to do exactly what you want to do. It’s a much harder path to actually make it work, but if you let yourself get through it and really love it enough to stick with it, it’s the most rewarding thing in the world.
AMBY: Exactly. I was going to say that. It’s such a gratifying thing to accomplish something with your passion and almost prove to those who doubted you what you’ve achieved.
Nothing More: [laughs] Yea, you completely understand.
AMBY: When the band isn’t up to getting hurt on stage, what do you indulge in for fun?
Nothing More: We all relax a little bit differently. I think Paul and Mark love to play video games when they can. I really like to watch TV shows, I’m real into series like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Dexter.
AMBY: I watch all of those.
Nothing More: Oh yea?
AMBY: You bet.
Nothing More: Nice! I really love TV shows. They’re my therapy and my escape from everything. That and working on my computer creating music. That’s kind of like working again, but it’s what I love to do, so it’s kind of like relaxing. I think Daniel loves to go hiking or camping or anything outdoors with whiskey [laughs].
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Nothing More that nobody knows yet?
Nothg More: Good question. There was lecture I heard a few years ago, called The Sibling Effect, and it’s basically about how you turn out in life. It makes a lot of sense in his lens and theory on how people turn out and how that’s a result of their birth order with their siblings. Anyway, the reason I bring that up is because I found it very interesting when we got our drummer Paul – he was the missing piece of the puzzle to the band and it just clicked when he joined. He’s the oldest member in the band and I’m the youngest member in the band, and then Dan and Mark are in the middle. In regards to birth order, I’m the oldest child and our drummer was the youngest child. Dan and Mark were the middle children. We’re like a reverse order of what we’re supposed to be, but our roles in the band really do relate to our birth order. Like how the middle children would act or the youngest or oldest child would act, according to that book. It’s funny how it works out.
Thank you Nothing More, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout